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Old 04-26-2009, 01:44 PM   #1
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Default Saturn, ring and moons...Wow!

Last night I got to see Saturn, its rings and moons.
(sidewalk astro event, Cambridge, ma)

Even though it appears way small, it is a whole lot different than quality pics, a sense of tangible reality right there.

Any amateur astronomers here..?
You would think some to the .edu crowd would have access to decent observatories..?

I now have access to an area where light pollution is very minimal and plan on getting into it soon! Working on a binocular suspension system right now... I will make a two-way pivot head out of a chop saw base parts.
I would love to find a front surface mirror, like 4 x10 for not too much money, for a tabletop setup as well...

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Old 04-26-2009, 05:44 PM   #2
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I had a good scope when I was a kid. 4 or 5" mirror I could see the spot on saturn and the ring on saturn. Maybe in the future I will get another one.

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Old 04-27-2009, 08:23 PM   #3
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Make one!

Google "dobplans".

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Old 04-28-2009, 03:43 PM   #4
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I've had a mirror blank in process for several years. Built a trepanning system for my drill press and drilled out a 7.25 blank. Just about got to polishing stage before stopping. Cheap way to build a high quality telescope if you are a DIY person. I'm thinking about starting back up when I clean out the side shed and make it into a clean room again.

Binocular looks a bit daunting to me. A simple Dob mount will be a good start. Too many projects and hobbies ATM. Speaking of ATM, amateur telescope makers has their own clubs.

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Old 05-05-2009, 08:05 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Homercidal View Post

Binocular looks a bit daunting to me. A simple Dob mount will be a good start. .... amateur telescope makers has their own clubs.
When I spoke of binoculars, I meant making a parallelogram mount to 'suspend" the binos (less shake, more comfort)

ATMers sure do have an online presence. cloudynights forums are fun!

For grins, search for "PortaBowl".
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Old 05-06-2009, 01:24 AM   #6
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Check out today's Astronomy Picture of the Day, taken from the Cassini spacecraft currently orbiting Saturn. That is Titan in the background, with Saturn's rings in front of it, and the small moon Epimethius floating over them. Amazing!

titanrings_cassini_big.jpg

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Old 05-21-2009, 05:07 PM   #7
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Default Update...!

I bought what turns out to be a 1950's vintage reflector, 6" f6 mirror witha GEM (thats "German equatorial mount").

Hand built by a nerd of the day (single guy, engineer), using the classic book from Allyn Thompson -classic in the sense that is it one of the best ever written in grinding mirrors in your workshop...

I will seek the help of a local astronomy club to make sure I care for it properly.
The finder is an old Kodak military surplus type, I am told. Chunky!

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Old 05-27-2009, 08:33 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Beerthoven View Post
... Titan in the background, with Saturn's rings in front of it, and the small moon Epimethius floating over them. Amazing!
Yep, and the Saturn ring material (rocks, ice, etc) is only 150 meters thick..!

I was told that this summer. the ring formation will present itself on a straight line to us (layman's terms) and will effectively appear as gone, being so thin..!
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Old 05-27-2009, 09:07 PM   #9
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That's no moon. That's a mellon.

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Old 05-27-2009, 09:13 PM   #10
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I was in Moab this weekend and got to see the entire Milky Way stretched all the way across the sky. Pretty cool

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